It is important to note that the specifications for WJEC Psychology have changed. See the website below for the new specifications.

This means that not all textbooks entitled WJEC Psychology GCE are based on the new specifications, so if you are purchasing books to support your learning, make sure that you are buying ones that make a clear reference to the 2015 specifications.

Most past papers and mark schemes are also based on the old specifications, so whilst it might be useful for you to look at these, it is critical that you understand that your exam is going to be different and that it will be marked differently.


29th December 2014 Let's think about passing some exams.
Question structure - 
Q1a Outline two assumptions of the ...approach 
Your response -
The first assumption of the X approach is.....
The second assumption of the X approach is......
Q1b Describe the X theory (as related to the approach in 1a)
Q2. Describe how the X approach has been applied to the Y theory.
Your response -
The X approach assumes that behaviour is a result of (you must state and explain the relevant assumption - that is, the one most closely aligned to the therapy you have chosen, but others could also be relevant and you could make reference to them).
You then need to make the link - Therefore is behaviour is pathological, it is logical that there is a need to ....
Q3a Evaluate two strengths of the X approach.
Your response -
One strength of this approach is ......
Leave a line!
A second strength of the approach is.......
Q3b. Evaluate two weaknesses of the X approach
Your response -
One weakness of this approach is....
Leave a line!
A second weakness of this approach is....
4. Compare and contrast the X approach and the Y approach.
Your response -
Make sure that include similarities and differences and that you make a point, explain it and provide an example.
Use the following structure - 
One similarity between the X approach and the Y approach is....
Another similarity between the X approach and the Y approach is ....
One difference between the X approach and the Y approach is ...
A second difference between the X approach and the Y approach is.... 
5. Explain and evaluate the methodology used by the X approach
Your response -
You can discuss one method in great detail or more than one in less detail. throughout you need to focus on the collection of data.
The X approach uses (name the method/s) to collect data.  A strength of this is that.... However, a weakness is that ...   

If your handwriting is difficult to read leave a line between paragraphs.  If there is anything you do not understand - ask!
6th May 2014
Note that in the original Asch (1955), Opinions and social pressure, at the point when it discusses the variations on the baseline study, the figure of the total number of trials for 'a partner who changes his mind' is not given.  This contrasts with the book you have reference to, which implies erroneously, that the total number of trials was twelve: "..In this variation, the confederate partner starts by giving correct responses for the first six critical trials, but then joined the majority for the remaining six trials."    

The original paper simply says that 'after six trials the partner joined the majority'  and that 'as soon as he did so, there was an abrupt rise in the subjects' errors.'  It would seem to be the case then, that this is an error in the book, which has not been picked up in the editing process.  

In the exam simply miss out the figure for the total number of trials at this point, (that is, in the additional procedures section only, not when you are writing about the main, baseline study).  In the main baseline study make clear that there were 18 trials. 


February 2014
The first meeting of The Journal Club will take place in F1 on 5th February 2014.  We will be discussing 'Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with Postbreak-up Recovery and Personal Growth'  (Marshall, 2012).  All studying psychology welcome and if you want to come along see me for a printed copy of the paper prior to the meeting.   ALT 31.1.14.

PY1Don't feel you have to learn all of these,  it's just some researchers to zap up therapies in case you are short. Let me know if you need anything else, or if you are doing a different therapy from those below and feel that you need more research to support your argument.


- Lang and Lazovik (1963) used SD to help student with snake phobias - it was found to be effective for most of the treatment group and the improvement was still evident six months later. Rothbaum et al (2000) used virtual reality to help ps who were afraid of flying, most of whom were able to take a test flight after treatment and maintained a reduction in phobic symptoms over the next six months.
FREE ASSOCIATION - Gaeraertz et al (2007) has cast doubt on the reliability of therapy recovered memories. Such memories are less likely to be corroborated by third parties or other evidence. A controlled study by the American Psychiatric Assoociation (APA 1993) reported that there was no evidence for the long-term efficacy of psychodynamic treatment of depression, although some recent studies have indicated that short-term psychodynamic interventions may be as effective as CBT (Leichsenring 2001)
CHEMOTHERAPY* - Davis et al (1980) analysed the results of 29 studies involving 3519 people and found that for those with a diagnosis for schizophrenia, relapse occurred in 55% of those whose antipsychotic medication was replaced by a placebo. Treatment outcome studies have generally indicated that depressed individuals given some form of medication benefit compared with those taking placebos. Around 60%-65% of individuals taking tricyclic drugs show improvement (Gitlin 2002), along with 50% taking MAOIs (Thase et al 1995), though side effects can be a problem.
CBT - Butler et al (2006) reviewed 16 meta-analyses of CBT and concluded that CBT was a highly effective therapy for depression, though Kuyken and Tsivrikos (2009) concluded that 15% of variation in the outcomes of CBT was attributable to how effectively the therapists conduct the treatment.
Devlin et al (2009) - students who saw a therapist's office with certificates rated the therapist as more skilful, experienced, better trained and more authoritative than than one without. Other research has indicated that success of therapy can depend on how the client views the therapist.
* Note that the Flanagan book - your A2 book gives a rather inaccurate picture of chemotherapy as a treatment for depression (p239) in the evaluation section (fundamentally saying drugs don't work), but this isn't entirely true(otherwise Drs wouldn't use it), so you will need to redress the balance with the Gitlin (2002) study in PY4.


There are about 9 revision opportunities before the exams.  The revision timetable is below.  Use your time wisely – if you are working well in the library, stay there. 

Lesson 5 -  PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH + research evidence (55minutes)
                   PY2 Exam Question Method Question C (5 minutes – a question a minute)  

Lesson 3 – COGNITIVE APPROACH + research evidence

Lesson  3 – BIOLOGICAL APPROACH  +  research evidence 

TUESDAY 14TH MAY 10-12.15
Lesson 4 & 5 (DOUBLE) – BEHAVIOURIST APPROACH + research evidence
                                          – PY1 - KEY TERMS + research for each answer.
                                             Structuring your responses in PY1

Lesson 6 – Langer and Rodin study

Lesson 7 - Rahe, Mahon and Arthur

MONDAY 20TH MAY 1.15-2.15
Lesson 8 - Bennett Levy study

TUESDAY 21ST MAY 2.15-3.20     
Lesson 9 – Asch study

All sessions will be held in F1.

ALT 5.5.13 

Latest 23rd June 2012- more on the Swansea University Open Day trip on Satuday 30th June 2012 (7 am start and thanks to all parents for driving students into Aberystwyth - particularly those from Tywyn).
Swansea University is the largest provider of Health Care Education in Wales and on those grounds, should be seen if you are remotely interested in this area.  The University has drawn together all health-related disciplines (including Psychology, Health and Social Care and Social Policy) in a Department of Health and Human Sciences -
1)The Complete University Guide for 2011 assessed this Department's Social Work degree programme as being the best in Wales and one of the top ten in the UK.
2) Its Psychology Department was the first in Wales to be given an 'Excellent' rating for the quality of its teaching.
3) It is the first university in Wales to appoint a Professor of Midwifery, Professor Billie Hunter.
4)It has been ranked the best in Wales in a research assessment exercise for Social Work and Social Policy.
5) The university is strongly committed to responding rapidly to changes in health care, social care and medical practice.

This is the link for the Department of Health and Human Sciences (general information)-

This is the link for the Department's Open Day programme only -

Open Day Programme June 30th 2012

Remember I would strongly advise you to try and keep an open mind at this stage and visit other departments whilst you are at the university  (Modern Languages, English, Sciences etc).  This is a decision-making process and the more information you have, the more likely you are to come to a good decision about your future.  

Link for the programme for all university departments -
17th June 2012.   
If you are having difficulty downloading a single document and you get a message saying that the webpage is not available, go back to the folder where it lists the resources (e.g. PY4 resources), go the right hand side of the screen and click on Download Folder.  This will download the entire folder (i.e. all of the PY4 resources) in  a zip file which will appear at the bottom left of your screen.  Click on it and you will see  all the resources, then  simply click on the one you need to view.